Why Do They Put Washrooms in Such Obscure Places?

restroom sign

Every now and then, I get fed up with eating what I cook. In these instances, I sleepwalk to the closest restaurant, which usually happens to be where I have the entire menu memorized.

As the senses start springing to action one by one – I start preparing myself for an immersive culinary experience. My imagination takes me everywhere – the chef’s table, the sous chef in a frenzy, a scene from the movie Burnt, and even the feast from Harry Potter movies, where with a flick of Dumbledore’s wrist, the dining tables are embellished with all incredible delicacies. 

I am ready to enjoy every morsel of the meal that will soon be put in front of me. I promise myself that this experience will become the best I have ever had regarding mindfulness meditation while eating.

One quick bio break and I will be ready. My waitress is very polite; she quickly gives me instructions on accessing the washroom facilities. 

It could have been the wee drink I had at the beginning, but those instructions sound cryptic to me – take the stairs down, walk 500 meters on the first door that you see to your right, then take the third door that you see to your left. Walk another 200 meters, and then voila, the door you see in front of you is the door to the washroom. It opens with a code – XXXX. 

At least, that’s how it sounded to me. I don’t know whether she said that verbatim, but I felt too embarrassed to ask and confirm. She thanks me and leaves.

“Well, how difficult can it be?” I think to myself.

I confidently brush my ignorance aside and jump at this opportunity to undertake this hero’s journey. I take the stairs down and am faced with a bunch of doors with no markings whatsoever. For the thousandth time, I overestimated my sense of direction, more importantly, my IQ. I use my little understanding of mathematical permutations and combinations, and luckily in 3-4 tries, locate the said washroom.

This, as promised, came with a combination lock. I am trying to remember the combination, of course, so I try the most secure combination known to humankind.

Red light flashes, and a very off-putting beep mark my imbecility.

Wait, I should have known better.

Yes, and green!

Flashes of Harry Potter flood my imagination AGAIN. The door to the chamber of secrets did lie in the washroom; this one obviously doesn’t have snakes on the faucets, the sink, or the plumbing. I do not know parseltongue, so my hopes aren’t up. I couldn’t locate the chamber of secrets, unfortunately.

I do take the failure in my stride, though.

Next time, I will listen when the waitress tells me the structure of the maze to get to the washroom and take voracious notes.

Next time, I will take my phone with me. There is no way for me to know the True North otherwise.

Next time, I will carry my map and my wand.


And the time after next, I probably will sleepwalk into a restaurant that has their washroom on the same floor, preferably not more than 50 meters away.


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